Improving Your Twitter Presence: Making the Most Out of Your 140 Characters
Whether your council has an active presence on Twitter or is just beginning to explore the possibilities, we believe that a council Twitter account can be a valuable asset to your council’s communication plan and can build your presence on campus and in your local community. To help your council utilize Twitter, we’ve outlined some tips below:
1. Don’t stop tweeting!
Everything everyone posts on Twitter is 100% visible (with some exceptions, but we’ll get into that in a minute). There isn’t an algorithm on Twitter like there is on Facebook, so Twitter is very fast-paced and, therefore, competitive. You’ll want to post multiple times a day to remain visible to your followers, as well as to maintain your following. If you’re quiet, you’re likely to see your number of followers decline.
When tweeting, your council should aim for a diversity of content. Some content, of course, should focus on your council and its events; this may include promotional tweeting prior to an event, live tweeting during an event, and finally, post-tweeting following an event, to thank attendees and volunteers. Tweeting reminders about council meetings may be tempting, but remember that your audience extends beyond your council members. A good practice is to avoid tweeting unrelated content to nonmembers to ensure that you do not lose followers. Keep your content focused on the council’s programming and things related to the mission of the Knights of Columbus to keep your tweets relevant. For example, if your local bishop has a twitter account and tweets about something relevant, your council may wish to retweet that post.
2. Use a balance of photos and text.
Like many social media sites, Twitter allows you to use photos as part of your post. When live tweeting or promoting an event that has an engaging poster or graphic, we encourage you to use photos in your tweet. High-quality photos have greater impact than sloppy ones, so focus on taking well-lit photos from good angles. Keep in mind that Twitter formats photos in a landscape orientation (as opposed to portrait), so remember to hold your phone or tablet horizontally, rather than vertically.
3. Use hashtags.
Twitter is a great platform for participating in conversations, and hashtags can be used to your advantage. Be on the lookout for specific hashtags that apply to your council’s interests and activities; this way, you can join conversations that others are having about the same topic or event. Twitter always displays a widget with trending hashtags, and event planners often include hashtags in their printed materials.
Use hashtags when sponsoring or participating in campus-wide events so other groups and students who are not yet Knights know about your involvement. Also, when tweeting about specific council events, use hashtags like #CollegeKofC or #CollegeKnightsInAction so that other college councils and the Supreme Council can follow along with the good work you’re doing. As a best practice, we recommend using two hashtags per tweet.
4. Retweeting vs. Favoriting
When you retweet something, you share third-party content on your own Twitter page much like sharing a post on your Facebook page. When you “favorite” a tweet, it goes into your Favorites list, which is accessible to the public but is less likely to be viewed by other users. Remember that your retweets are more valuable than your favorites because you know you increase your visibility. We advise that you retweet content you value and want to share with your own followers from sources you trust, and favorite tweets that you like and don’t mind other people seeing, but which may not be fully relevant to your messaging.
For example, if your council is partnering with another group to co-sponsor a campus event and their group makes a promotional tweet, or if a Catholic leader shared a nice meme for a feast day, you may wish to retweet. If @KofC tweets about an activity or event that another college council is doing but might not be relevant to your council, you might want to favorite the tweet to show your support.